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Bball
04-20-2005, 04:28 AM
...It's been an incredible ride.

When Reggie Miller was selected way back in the 1987 NBA draft few knew what Indiana was really getting. Indiana didn't just get a player, the Pacers got the face of the franchise. We got a player who would give us all faith that we could win. No matter what the score said, with Reggie Miller in the game anything was possible. He brought a bravado to the court that was infectious. We could beat anybody. We could start dreaming not about just a winning record or making the playoffs. We could start dreaming about making some noise in the playoffs.

Reggie's confidence, his showmanship, his drive, the determination... We believed because we felt - no - we knew he believed.

He's leaving as one of the top scorers ever in the NBA. He's taken and made more three point shots than anybody. His longevity both in the NBA and with one team, the Pacers, is also a rarity in this day and age. Regardless of what the hardware might say, Pacer fans know a champion when they see one. Reggie Miller is a true Pacer champion. Just like the heroes from the Pacer ABA heydays of the past.

His absence from the team will certainly leave a void for the fans. Missing will be that hush and then growing buzz as Reggie slips around a pick and waits behind the three point arc for the ball. Reggie then gets the pass and there's this pause as if the crowd must all take a collective breath just before Reggie releases the ball. And then there is the glorious eruption, fans coming out of their seats, arms in the air, and the ball slicing through the net. Swish.... Boom Baby!

That scene has played over and over again in MSA and now Conseco, but it is drawing to a close. Perhaps fittingly, Reggie is playing these last few moments of his career just as he has the last moments of a close game- somehow finding a way to put the team on his back, the fans too, and make us all believe one more time that he has another Miller Miracle awaiting us. 8 points in 8 seconds? No problem. 25 points in the 4th quarter? No sweat. Nailing a last second three to beat Michael Jordan and the Bulls? Of course, it's Reggie. 39 points at 39 years of age? Why not!?

This season hasn't played out like many of us would've hoped but that shouldn't take anything away from the accomplishments of the team and coaching staff as they have navigated these uncharted waters. It's a shame that a player of Reggie's stature, an ambassador not only for the Pacers but the NBA as well, couldn't take the team as intended into one last title quest. But that is not to be. Perhaps we can take some solace from the fact that the circumstances have given Reggie one last chance to lead this team as we all remember. Not as some 39 year old player holding on as long as the team would have him but instead as a player at the top of his game playing some of the best basketball of his career.

The clock is ticking. Reggie's very last game is fast approaching. While the final game of the regular season will be emotional everyone knows that there are playoff games to be played. And history says the playoffs are Miller time. Can he put the team on his back one last time and carry the team and fans farther than anyone thinks possible? I'm not betting against it. With Reggie Miller in the game... anything is possible.

-Bball

Willbo
04-20-2005, 08:34 AM
This should be archived...

Unclebuck
04-20-2005, 08:58 AM
That was a great post Bball. It really has not hit me yet that this is Reggie last regular season game. Maybe if the Pacers had not made the playoffs, it would hit me harder.

I've said for years if it weren't for Reggie the Pacers never would have ever gotten out of the first round, at least not in '94 or '95. I base that on a lot of things in your post Bball.

In many ways the game I will remember the most was a game the Pacers lost. 1996 game 5 against the Atlanta Hawks. That was the year Reggie suffered the eye injury (wasn't that against the Pistons) he missed the first 4 games. I still remember seeing him sitting on the bench wearing the oversized sunglasses. But he played in game 5 at home, scored 29 points, missed the possible game winner, but his performance under those circumstances was incredible. Playng through double vision. That was Reggie's most inspiring
performance.

I contend the Pacers overachieved during the 90's, that they really weren't that good, except for Reggie that is. He gave everyone confidence. He willed the Pacers to victory over and over again.

Let me clear up a myth that has grown over the years. The myth - "most Pacers fans wanted the Pacers to draft Steve Alford" Not true. maybe a majority of IU fans wanted Alford. But most Pacer fans did not want Alford. I know I didn't

ABADays
04-20-2005, 09:02 AM
The greatest thing an athlete can bring to the fans is the belief that you always have a chance. With Miller on the court, we always had that. Thanks Reg.

MagicRat
04-20-2005, 09:09 AM
http://prometheus.able-towers.com/~magicrat/REGGIE.wma
http://home.comcast.net/%7Emagic_rat/images/superreggie_20.jpg

http://prometheus.able-towers.com/~magicrat/boombaby.WMA

RWB
04-20-2005, 09:31 AM
Let me clear up a myth that has grown over the years. The myth - "most Pacers fans wanted the Pacers to draft Steve Alford" Not true. maybe a majority of IU fans wanted Alford. But most Pacer fans did not want Alford. I know I didn't

Yep, everyone I knew was hoping (like Bailey later) Alford would fall to the 2nd round.

Ragnar
04-20-2005, 09:49 AM
The problem was that there were not a lot of Pacer fans in 1987. So the IU fans far outnumbered the Pacer fans.

Peck
04-20-2005, 09:50 AM
That was a great post Bball. It really has not hit me yet that this is Reggie last regular season game. Maybe if the Pacers had not made the playoffs, it would hit me harder.

I've said for years if it weren't for Reggie the Pacers never would have ever gotten out of the first round, at least not in '94 or '95. I base that on a lot of things in your post Bball.

In many ways the game I will remember the most was a game the Pacers lost. 1996 game 5 against the Atlanta Hawks. That was the year Reggie suffered the eye injury (wasn't that against the Pistons) he missed the first 4 games. I still remember seeing him sitting on the bench wearing the oversized sunglasses. But he played in game 5 at home, scored 29 points, missed the possible game winner, but his performance under those circumstances was incredible. Playng through double vision. That was Reggie's most inspiring
performance.

I contend the Pacers overachieved during the 90's, that they really weren't that good, except for Reggie that is. He gave everyone believe. He willed the pacers to vctory over and over again.

Let me clear up a myth that has grown over the years. The myth - "most Pacers fans wanted the Pacers to draft Steve Alford" Not true. maybe a majority of IU fans wanted Alford. But most Pacer fans did not want Alford. I know I didn't

The truth has finally come out. I've thought you felt this way all along & now I'm glad you have at least come out & admitted it.

Needless to say I strongly disagree with you, but at least we are all now playing in the open on this. :)

Doug in CO
04-20-2005, 09:57 AM
You say that Reggie started the bravado - I would disagree. Reggie was the first guy to DELIVER on it. Chuck Person started it. I hope the Rifleman is part of the ceremony tonight.

Unclebuck
04-20-2005, 10:04 AM
The truth has finally come out. I've thought you felt this way all along & now I'm glad you have at least come out & admitted it.

Needless to say I strongly disagree with you, but at least we are all now playing in the open on this. :)


I know I've posted that before. What, you don't read my every word. Maybe this summer we can delve into this a little deeper.

ChicagoJ
04-20-2005, 11:54 AM
You say that Reggie started the bravado - I would disagree. Reggie was the first guy to DELIVER on it. Chuck Person started it. I hope the Rifleman is part of the ceremony tonight.

Rifleman, yes - PLEASE! And as Peck said in another thread, please keep the ex-Celtics out of this.

It was Chuck vs. Dominique and Chuck vs. Bird that initiated the post-ABA resurgence in Pacer-Pride. Reggie can have all the credit in the world for finishing the task, but it was - without a doubt - Chuck that started it.

Bball
04-20-2005, 12:13 PM
You say that Reggie started the bravado - I would disagree. Reggie was the first guy to DELIVER on it. Chuck Person started it. I hope the Rifleman is part of the ceremony tonight.

Actually, I chose my words carefully not to say Reggie was the 'first' NBA Pacer to bring us a certain swagger or bravado because Chuck did as well... but Chuck was traded and so that was more a sample of a player bringing that to the team than what we got from Reggie which was sustained throughout 18 years (and as you said 'delivered')

-Bball

Bball
04-21-2005, 03:01 AM
While a championship would be nice, seeing Reggie playing and leading the team at this level one last time is certainly nice... whatever the outcome.

-Bball

brichard
04-21-2005, 10:52 AM
What can be said about Reggie that has not already been said? Everybody can talk about his professionalism all day long, and while that is commendable, it really doesn't touch on what I appreciate most about #31.

I didn't really start following basketball until 1987. Yes, I did consider myself a Laker fan as a kid and I did watch the Celtics/Laker 80's games. However, I didn't become hooked until following the Hoosiers in 1987.

I have lived in Indiana my entire life. As a matter of fact, Bloomington and Avon are the only 2 cities I've lived in. So you can say that I consider myself a Hoosier through and through.

One of the things my brother and I have always lamented is the fact that Indiana sports teams have never won a professional championship. I know this will be blasphemy for those of you who support the ABA teams, and I mean no disrespect, but right or wrong I don't put it in the same class as the NBA.

The Colts always disappoint in the playoffs. And even at a collegiate level we have not seen a team win in football (Holtz Irish) or basketball (1987 Hoosiers) for a very long time. Only the Harbaugh led colts and the Jared Jeffries Hoosiers have really come close in recent years.

But Ah... the Pacers. Yes, they have been denied the Holy Grail of a championship, but they consistently give me a chance to believe they can do it. Even when logic tells me that it is next to impossible (much like this year) my heart always overrules my brain and takes me on a ride one more time.

Much like all of my childhood heroes, Reggie always makes you believe he can overcome any obstacle and produce a win. Will he always do it? No, but he leaves everything on the floor. He uses every wily veteran trick, bounces his wasp thin body off of brick walls, and flat out wills the ball into the basket. Ice runs in his veins in the last seconds. I'm always astounded when he misses a big shot.

As the years have went buy, responsibilities of work and being a parent limit my ability to watch all the sports I would like. I do find time for the Colts b/c they only play one game per week, but I make my best efforts to try and watch the Pacers. I can't see every game, but the tradition of winning they have established makes them the best bet for seeing an Indiana team win year in and year out.

So that is my thanks to Reggie Miller. Reggie, you are a great player that I admire. But thanks to you for allowing me to watch a team win that has my state's name printed on your jersey. You may not come from Indiana, but your focus on the fundamentals in spite of a lack of athleticism... it sure makes you look and feel like a Hoosier. :)

I used to go to Pacer games as a kid to see Cowboy Bob. My son (9) goes to see Reggie. This is the first year he races to the mailbox to get our newspaper and he cuts out the scores of the Pacer games. I have to think that is much more inspiring than when I went to games at his age.

Much like any other year, anything short of an NBA championship will be a disappointment to me. And although I know the odds of us doing it are slim, I'll always believe that we can do it b/c of #31.

Good Luck Reggie, leave everything on the floor so you have no regrets. I'll always be a fan.

8.9_seconds
04-22-2005, 12:16 AM
I remeber a quote I once heard from Reggie it was like

'I never thought about us being down, I just was wondering where the after party would be held'

Thats not exactly right, but I know it was said after the amazing 8 points in 8.9 seconds it has stuck with me since then.

Only the confidence and the talent that is Reggie Miller could have admitted that.

ReggieMiller8325
04-22-2005, 04:48 PM
Well goodbye Reggie Miller i had a tear in my eye when i saw you go your are the greatest of all time and i hope you the best.

Bball
03-28-2006, 01:47 AM
Since Peck has brought up the thread on Reggie, I am bumping this.
:bump:

What's amazing is that we can now add his final game ever (even in a loss) to his incredible list of achievements. He went out the best player on the floor that night. Incredible.

And Larry Brown's timeout to honor Reggie and his career was unexpected and very much a classy move. That moment still sticks with me.

-Bball